Anytime a tumor is suspected, this can be a great cause for concern. This may be especially so when found in the lymph nodes. However, some of these tumors are actually quite harmless. One such condition, in which I actually had a personal experience with, is a lipoma, also known as a fatty tumor. These masses are more commonly found than many may think, especially in the lymph nodes of the groin and armpit.
What Is a Lipoma?
Lipomas are growths of fatty tissues within certain areas of the body that are also referred to as tumors. Although completely harmless, these masses can become painful for the individual. Unlike cysts or abscesses that may be caused by shaving, lipomas in the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes do not “erupt”. They may roll when palpated and are somewhat soft. These types of tumors do not go away or reduce in size over time, but may continue to grow.
How can you tell if the Tumor is Harmless?
One should never assume that a mass in the lymph nodes located near the armpit is simply a lipoma. Only qualified medical personnel are qualified to make such judgments. Various diagnostic tests may be used to help determine the nature of the lymph node tumors. This can include a complete blood cell count (CBC), ultrasound technology and/or biopsy procedures. In some cases, the physician may order these tests in combination with one another or other types of testing.
What Should You Expect at Your Physician’s Appointment?
The patient will be asked a variety of questions and the doctor will examine the lymph nodes in which the tumor is suspected. This can include palpation of the area and measuring the size. During this time, he or she may also check for tenderness, redness and other signs and symptoms associated with the mass. The physician will want to know when it was first noticed, how long it’s been there and will often ask questions about family history of cancer and other diseases.
There aren’t a lot of treatments for this type of tumor in the lymph nodes of the armpit. The most effective way to treat the disorder is through removal of the lipoma. This is often a simple surgical procedure either done in office or as an outpatient procedure. Although laparoscopic surgery is common, the type of surgery will greatly depend on the size of the tumor.
This is not a substitute for medical advice. Although fatty tumors of the armpit lymph nodes are common, this can also be a sign of other, more serious diseases. Breast cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and some STD’s may also be associated with these symptoms. Anytime a lump is found, it is always best to consult with your physician.
Armpit Lump. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine and Institute of Health. Updated 19, August 2010. Viewed 28, September 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003099.htm